The Masque Of The Red Death Short Story Analysis

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The meanings of short stories attain their value through the plot, characters, setting, writing style, narrator and theme. These six components form an effective story line that gets the meaning of the work across. The short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe is an allegory in which Poe uses symbols to convey a deeper meaning throughout the story. Death is inevitable and no amount of wealth or evasion from your fate can save you. First off, the setting of “The Masque of the Red Death” is quite eerie. The atmosphere throughout is creepy, foreboding and terrifying. Prince Prospero throws a party in his extremely secluded, fortified abbey, which is not only secure from outsiders but no one can leave either which is made…show more content…
The story starts off with a gory description of the Red Death. “There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim… the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.” (Poe). The Red Death creates the conflict in the story. It is the cause of the death of more than half of the people in the land and instils a sense of uncertainty for the nobles in hiding. “As a means of self-preservation, and, arguably, the preservation of mankind, the prince isolates himself and other courtiers in a venue where they are supposedly untouchable to the Red Death.” (Santi and Lynn). The prince and friends try to evade the inevitable that they too will die from the Red Death by locking themselves in an isolated abbey. The story’s climax occurs when Prince Prospero confronts the masked stranger at the party and is killed. Eventually, all the others die that night too and this resolution to the story is…show more content…
“The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet --a deep blood color.” (Poe). Here, Poe really lets the reader get an image in their head of the black room and shows how peculiar it is. Also, the he fact the Prince Prospero’s name reflects prosperity is ironic because his kingdom is in ruin and he and all his friends die (Caldwell). At the end, the strange, masked guest who kills Prince Prospero is actually death itself. This is Poe using personification to give death a human-like form. Poe uses the seven rooms of the party suite to symbolize the stages of life. The room furthest east represents birth because of the blue, happy color and the sun rises in the east at the start of a new day. The black room which is furthest west represents death since the sun sets in the west at the end of daylight and its color is dark, evil and mysterious. Poe’s description of the party guests as ones who “out Heroded Herod” is an allusion to John the Baptist in the fact that going too far and greed can lead to death, which the guests of the extravagant party face in the end
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